I've picked up a cheap healthy hobby: Mountain Biking. Got a brand new Trek Bike. It's the X-Caliber 5 for $600 and I have to say, it's the best bike for the money.
Didn't have to ask permission from the wife. Just walked in the store and paid with cash. There are several things I love about mountain biking. One is the cost. I used to have a gym membership and just canceled it. Maintaining a mountain bike only cost me dollars a month. I also ride my bike to work saving me an extra $200 in gas a month. My bike has already paid for itself after a couple of months.
The great outdoors is another reason I got into this hobby. In the past month, I spotted fox squirrels, deer, snakes, an alligator, and a black bear with cubs. Who needs to go to the zoo? Where I live there are 10 mountain bike trails to go on. Some are fast clay trails, others are more technical with obstacles, and another is a nice joy ride around a lake with oak trees pruned to form a tunnel over the path. Riding outdoors is release from all the work related stress.
Health was the primary reason I got into mountain biking. I was pushing 235 pounds which was all my fault living a sedentary lifestyle sitting on my ass all day at work and drinking beer at home. Now I'm down to 215 pounds and my diet hasn't changed. I bike for 7 miles for 6 days a week. Everyday after work and on Saturday. What I enjoy most about mountain biking is that it makes me feel like a kid again. My dad bought me a BMX bike when I was 10. After 6 months, my parents bought a SNES for my birthday and sadly my BMX bike was sold for a video game. Here I am, 35 years old riding my bike with other young kids jumping dirt ramps while their fathers sit on the side to watch. So to others looking for a cheap hobby that benefits your health and fun, I highly recommend mountain biking.
This is the track I'm going to attempt tomorrow. Hope I don't break my leg.
*Mods. I put this under home improvement. Can you move this to Health & Fitness?"
if it floats, flies or fornicates, you're better off renting.
Good choice. I got a Trek Marlin a few years back for about the same price. Now the only thing stock is the frame. If you're looking to upgrade the bike, you can lose a lot of weight by upgrading the fork and wheelset for big bucks. But if you haven't gone tubeless...it's the way to go. For the money, I think it's one of the best upgrades you can do. I found the loss in weight to be noticeable and it improved acceleration and braking because the tire wasn't flexing and shifting over the tube anymore. Going clipless is another huge improvement to efficient power output. A shorter stem and wider handlebars generally improve handling provided you can still clear trees and maintain an optimal seating position. Have an LBS fit you to the bike when making changes though...or just read and experiment your way through it like me. I have the scars to show for it.
I ride my old MTB (1995 Trek Y-33) to work every day, and ride my new, mondo-expenceo Specialized Epic Carbon 29er on 15-20mi. night time trail rides with a few buds 1X/wk. and day rides on Sat or Sun. Great fun and a dam good workout.
Did I mention that I'm 58 years old? Yeah - a Fast Old Guy.. And, NO - I didn't have to ask "permission" from *anyone* to buy the new bike!
"Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.." - REM